Thursday, June 19, 2008

Elloyen Dioyen... Lord's

The last Indian to score a century at the 'home of cricket' is Ajit Agarkar. An imposing board in the Visitors' dressing room informs. In fact, there are two boards - one for centurions and another for 5/10 wicket hauls.
The genial host, who takes you around the grounds for a tour, points out that there are only two names that appear on both lists - Gary Sobers and Vinoo Mankad. He also says that several deserving names missing on the two boards. Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara on the batsmen's list. Dennis Lillee and Shane Warne on the bowlers'.
He wonders aloud if Mr Warne may be persuaded to return for next year's Ashes Test to break the jinx. "You can't put anything beyond him..."

There are only three people on the centurions' list who did so on their debuts. The first two names escape me. The third name is S Ganguly, 131, 1996.
"Quite a character, eh? Twirled his jersey in the air and ran down the Long Room, thumping the tables as he went past them. A few members would have choked on their sherry...", the host chuckles about the NatWest victory. He remembers that much better than the century and you can't blame him!

Also, you get to see the bench on which he stood while doing the famous twirl. Photography is prohibited in the dressing room but I sneak in a snap anyway. My son refused to take off his jersey, though!

And from the other end of the ground, you get a full view of the dressing room balcony. In another week, it will be 25 years since one Mr Kapil Dev lifted a Cup there.
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